November 3, 2011

Pumpkin Knotted Dinner Rolls

October's Artisan Bread Baker's BOM (Bread of the Month) was Pumpkin Knotted Dinner Rolls. These rolls were so amazing, that I'll be adding them to my Thanksgiving menu. The name says pumpkin, but they do not actually taste like pumpkin. Instead of pumpkin flavor, the pumpkin puree makes these rolls incredibly moist. They will be perfect rolls for soaking up some good Thanksgiving gravy! The recipe is from here. You can even change the serving size on the recipe site. I made 24 and I wouldn't recommend less. Trust me, they are that good. I individually wrapped the extra rolls with plastic wrap, put them in a freezer bag, and froze them. They held up great. If I knew I was going to want some for dinner, I just took them out in the morning and let them defrost on the counter. Of course there were the times I wanted one right then and there, so I would just put one in the microwave for 15 seconds. Microwaving frozen bread isn't my preferred choice, but it worked fine with these rolls.

(for 24 rolls):
1/2 ounce active dry yeast
1 cup warm 2% low-fat milk (110-115 degrees F)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2-6 cups flour, divided
1 tablespoon cold water
1 egg

I must admit, I'm not a big fan of bread recipes that aren't measured by weight. So, my next batch I'm going to weigh the dry ingredients. I'll be sure to add the weight for my fellow bread baking snobs. ;)

Now for a trick of the trade moment. Is 'trick' the right word? *Scratches head* My chef husband taught me there is a correct way to measure dry ingredients when not measuring by weight. Scoop, pour, and scrape. You should never use the measuring cup to scoop from the bag, but instead use a spoon or cup to scoop the dry ingredients into the measuring cup.

I always put my measuring cup in a bowl and over fill it with a heaping spoon full of the dry ingredient. I then take the back of a knife and scrape along the top of the cup. Do not tap the cup. This will cause the ingredient to pack and will give you too much of the ingredient. [Unless the recipe calls for the dry ingredient to be packed.] I know to some this may seem a bit too picky, but I'm a picky baker and like to get consistent results. It's this pickiness (or if you prefer...OCD tendencies) that makes me happy I married a chef. He gets it. Not to mention I get to learn what the pros do. Many times I get to 'learn' even when I don't ask....but hey, that's for a different post, or maybe even for a different blog all together. ;)

Directions (taken directly from the recipe source here):
1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Add butter, sugar, pumpkin, 2 eggs, salt, and 3 cups flour. Stir in enough of remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface----knead until smooth and elastic-like (should take about 5-7 minutes). Place in a large greased bowl and turn once to grease top. Cover with a clean towel or paper towels and let rise in a warm place until doubled---takes about 1 hour. Punch dough down; turn onto lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each portion into 12 balls (so you'll have 24 balls total). Roll each ball into about a 10" rope; tie into a knot and tuck ends under. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Cover again with towels and let rise until doubled---takes about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together water and 1 remaining egg. When rolls are done doubling again, brush them with the egg wash. Bake at 350 for about 15-16 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove and serve or place on wire racks to cool slightly. Serve warm or cooled with butter.

I put a post-it on my proofing container to mark where the dough started. This makes it easier to tell if the dough has double. You could also use tape, but sometimes it's hard to get the tape off.

These rolls are not only delicious, they look beautiful. Now is everyone ready to go make these? You really should! If you have children, they would probably have a lot of fun making the knots.

On another note, my blog is getting a make-over! I've been working on a fresh new look! I will hopefully have it completed by the end of next week. If all goes well that is. I am also moving it over to blogger, but I'll post all that info once I've moved everything over and have finished the new look. So please stay tuned! :)

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